Hello everyone, it’s Sarah!
I found this book when looking for Newbery potentials, also I was recommended another book by this author from one of our Youtube views, LJ. So, thanks LJ for the recommendation.
Title: King And The Dragonflies
Author: Kacen Callender
King’s older brother, Khalid, passed away unexpectedly and devastated his family. King knows that his brother isn’t completely gone. Khalid would talk during his sleep about other worlds and on the day of his funeral, King believes Khalid returned as a dragonfly. King is on a mission to find his dragonfly brother. Nobody, but his ex-best friend, Sandy, knows that King is searching for something in the swamp. King’s brother told him not to have anything to do with Sandy, but when Sandy runs away from his father, the local sheriff and child abuser, Sandy will need King’s help. Together, the two young guys explore the impact of race and sexuality on youth.
The setting was a tangible place that even I felt like I was looking for dragonflies. This book is rich with discussion points. I wanted to protect the beauty of King and Sandy. It was interesting to see African American, King, and Caucasian, Sandy navigate their own familial expectations and taboos. This brought up an interesting discussion about the need to do away with hate. The book makes comparisons between the concepts of hating someone based on their race or sexuality, while not discounting either minority. Callender has written strong middle grade fiction in the past and this novel was no different. I look forward to reading more novels by them.